The Fact vs. Fiction in the

Chosen Vessel Series

 

 

Reading a historical fiction can be educational as well as entertaining. Throughout the course of my research for the series, I came across a wealth of information on Christianity and the ancient civilizations which serve as the background of the novels.

 

Over the past several years, I have often been asked, “Did that really happen?” In principle, many of the plots and themes from the series parallel actual events, however, gaps and inconsistency in the historical records often necessitated a degree of creative conjecture on my part.

 

The section below should help shed some light on what is fact and what is fiction in the Chosen Vessel Series.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Nubian Timeline
  • All dates and events are factual and can be documented by outside sources.

  • Though the events described in AD 11 and AD 20 did happen, there are conflicting views on the actual occurrence of these events. They are approximations at best

 

Prologue (Vessel of Honor)
  • King Ezanas: factual character. He was the first king to declare Ethiopia a Christian nation. The duration of his reign is an approximation (I found several conflicting dates during my research so I settled on my own conservative convention).

  • Exekias Veridius: fictional character. There was no letter sent from Exekias to Ezanas in AD 346.

 

Characters

All but the following characters in the series are fictitious

  • The Ethiopian Eunuch (I provided the name Sahlin Malae) – the man spoke and read Greek. He possessed a copy or at least portions of the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament). It is widely accepted that this man was the first to bring the Christian faith into Nubia. There are a couple of legends that indicate he converted the queen and went on to become an apostle. Vessel of Honor is based upon one of these legends. It should be noted that none of the legends have been verified by the historical record.

  • Philip the Evangelist

  • Queen Amanitore

  • King Sherakarer

  • Prince Terenkiwal (son of Kandace Naytal, though she did not exist)

  • Simon of Cyrene (yet the conversation with Dikembul is fictitious)

 

Places

The map included in the book is factual. There are archeological records of all cities and towns referenced on the map. However, the provinces are fictitious. It is unknown if Meroe actually parceled the kingdom into provinces bearing these names. It should be noted that these names are Nubian in origin. I’ve provided a list of the fictitious provinces and the origination of the names.

  • Nobatia – name of a village in northern Meroe.

  • Makoria – name of a region in the north eastern section of Meroe. Later became the name of a Nubian kingdom

  • Alondia – name of a region in the north eastern section of Meroe. Later became the name of a Nubian kingdom (Alodia)

  • Kerma – name of a city in the northern section of Meroe. Originally, the kingdom bore the name “Kerma” instead of “Meroe”

 

 

Sub-Plots in General:
  • It is not know whether or not a man from Nubia was present at the outpouring on Pentecost

  • There is no historical evidence that Meroe was ravaged by a civil war during the 1st century.

  • There is no historical evidence to suggest that the Church Elders sent a lone missionary to Meroe in order to find the eunuch.

  • It is generally accepted that the eunuch was not a castrated man, but rather a high ranking official. Linguists believe the Greek word for eunuch had a dual meaning.

  • Archeological evidence reveals that the well-to-do citizens of Meroe lived in sturdy structures, compounds, and palaces made of brick. Bath houses similar to those found in Rome have been excavated.

 

 

Political Structure
  • There is no historical evidence that suggests the existence of an actual Council of Ministers that helped govern the kingdom. It is noted that there was a body of elders that consisted of priests that helped to “select” monarchs at different points in Nubian history.

  • Meroe was a very wealthy kingdom. Its prosperity was generated by two items:

    • Caravan and trade routes between the East and the Roman Empire

    • Gold – it is estimated the Nubia mined and exported at least 1.6 million kilograms of gold during antiquity.

  • Historical records indicate that Nubia borrowed heavily from the Egyptian culture. Therefore, I used many of the same terms in reference to government officials (viziers) and political structures.

  • All terms in the glossary are historically accurate except for the following:

    • Qar – shorten form of the word paqar which denoted a prince or royal administrator. I used the term qar as a synonym for princess.

    • Falasha – this is a modern term but its roots can be traced back to antiquity. It is not known how the Jews in that time period designated themselves.

    • Masjid – similar to the term Falasha. The term is accurate and does exist, but it is not known at what point the word was adapted to reference a synagogue